Saturday, February 23, 2019

The seal of confession

That raises a nest issues:

i) It diverts attention away from the source of the problem. It's not Catholic laymen who are the molesters but (many) Catholic priests (and bishops). That's primarily a homosexual crime, and I doubt Catholic laymen are homosexual at higher rates than men generally. So this law has it backwards. The problem isn't laymen confessing child abuse to priests, but abusive priests.  

ii) The law is too sweeping since this is primarily a Catholic problem. I don't mean sexual abuse is primarily a Catholic problem, but homosexual abuse of minors. 

iii) It would essentially make Catholicism illegal. While I'm opposed to Catholicism, I don't think it should be against the law to be Catholic. 

Admittedly, I'm not a religious freedom absolutist. I'm much less tolerant of Islam. But Islam is dangerous in a way that Catholicism is not.

iv) If you accept the principle of the mandated reporter law, why draw the line with suspected child abuse/neglect? Why not require clergy to refer any crime to the authorities which is confided to them? 

v) In general, I'm opposed to turning private citizens into domestic spies. It's one thing for a private citizen to voluntarily report a crime, quite another to make private citizens agents of the state who have an obligation, under penalty of law, to be snitches for the government. That's a classic police state mentality which existed in the Soviet Union.

vi) Although this can protect kids in some situations, it can easily be abused. "Suspected" cases reported to authorities. CPS swoops in, removes the kids from their home, then innocent parents have to fight an expensive uphill legal battle to get them back. So it cuts both ways. Consider how this can be weaponized against Jewish or Christian parents by progressive public school employees who disapprove of how parents are raising their kids. Think how it could be extended to the LGBT agenda. 

vii) And this invites overreporting to shift the blame. The mandated reporter avoids legal liability for failing to report suspected cases by automatically referring a case to the authorities on the filmiest grounds.  

viii) Mind you, I think the seal of confession is fanatical. There are extreme situations in which, even if something is shared in confidence, we have a moral duty to report that to the authorities. But that's an extreme situation, and a moral duty is different from a legal duty. And even in that case, there's such a thing as anonymous tips. 

Laws like this can be indexed to anyone who's licensed by the state, which ties into the problem of overregulation. A runaway proliferation of occupations that require licensing. 

ix) How can this even enforceable? If a crime is confided in private, there's no record of who said what to whom unless that's written down. The mandated reporter can simply deny that the perp confided in him. Where's the evidence to the contrary?  

x) BTW, are lawmakers exempt from mandatory reporter laws? 

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